How to Become Parisian in a Day

  • 25, Oct 2016
  • All things Paris
  • Michelle Hair

Here's our guide to help you have yourself a very Parisian day out

If you truly want to blend into the backdrop with the citizens of the City of Lights, skip the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. Real Parisians haven't visited those places since a field trip in elementary school. If they do have the urge to see the sights, they are comforted by the fact that those monuments will be there indefinitely, and they can go visit them at anytime. Don't get me wrong, the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower are absolutely stunning and worth a visit, but it's impossible to see the entire Louvre in one day, unless you run through it in nine minutes like in Jean-Luc Godard's iconic film, Bande à part. Deciding what to do with yourself can be daunting in Paris – that's why we've created you a day plan filled with the things only a true Parisian would get up to.

Joggers in the Buttes Chaumont Park

Photo by Jeanne Menjoulet ©

One of our favourite ways to start the day in Paris... Spring out of bed nice and early and take a run through the beautiful Buttes Chaumont park. The most avid runners of this city take a lap around the lake, the view is better than any that a gym membership could offer.

Coffee with croissants

After a bit of exercise, find yourself a café, sit en terrasse, and watch the busy businessmen rush to work while you savour your croissant and a shot of espresso. You'll have difficulty scouting out American pancakes or an English breakfast since most Parisians can't stomach anything substantial until lunchtime. But with a delicious buttery croissant in hand, you won't miss your sloppy beans and toast or maple syrup.

Vintage clothes rail

Are you a shopaholic looking to find some of Paris' most original pieces? There's no better time to delve into the city's high fashion and vintage scene than while the rest of the city is busy at work. Take a stroll down Rue de la Verrerie and hit up all the fabulous thrift-shops (or friperies to the locals), like Kilo Shop and Free P Star. You should never come to Paris with a large suitcase full of clothes-- let the City of Lights dress you in its finest fringues. 

Falafel stands in Le Marais

When you're dressed to the nines and one kilo heavier, it's time to have lunch. Head to le Marais and enjoy the tastiest falafel sandwich of your life at L'as du Fallafel. Don't be suprised if there's a queue that trails around the corner: add yourself to it pronto, this one is well worth the wait.

Velib bikes on the Champs-Elysées

Next, do as Parisian do and see the city of lights by bike... After lunch, grab a Velib' and feel the wind in your hair as you pedal over to Jacquemart-Andre Museum in the 8th arrondissement. This magnificent 19th century mansion started as a private art collector's horde and now houses one of the largest collections of Italian Renaissance art in all of Europe. It sits a small walk away from the iconic Avenue des Champs-Elysées.

Nutella croissant

By the time you've reached the end of your museum tour, the clock has probably struck gouter o'clock. "Gouter" is a late afternoon snack and, like most food-oriented rituals, it's taken very seriously in Paris. Every day at 4pm, without fail, Parisians sit down to indulge in what most consider to be the most important meal of the day. If it's nice out, have some nutella (yes really, it's a Parisian staple!) on a warm baguette on the banks of the trendy Canal St. Martin.

Chez prune, restaurant by the Canal Saint-Martin

Speaking of food, the Parisians are "toujours très fan." Meals occupy a central role in the Parisian lifestyle, and are not only for nourishment but also a source of socialisation, family time, and endless endless discussion. It is not uncommon for a Sunday lunch to be accompanied by three hours of great conversation, washed down by a sharp cup of espresso. We suggest finding a nice Parisian brasserie along the canal to satiate your appetite. Why not try Chez Prune?

Audience at a Parisian theatre

And finally, when the day is drawing to a close, there's only one way to round off your truly Parisian day out: a trip to the theatre, of course! Why not book yourself a theatrical soirée with Theatre in Paris? We offer comedies, classics, cabarets, and musicals, all of which are come with our English language guarantee! Whether it's because they come entirely in English or with the help of our specially translated surtitles, our shows break down the language barrier to welcome you in to Paris' thriving theatre scene.

Find out what's on and book tickets now

Liked this article? Check out our other Parisian insider tips:

25 Unusual Things to Do in Paris

What to Do in Paris on a Sunday

10 Ways to Blend in with the Locals in Paris

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